Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on November 1, 2011 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.

I proudly watched the Buckeyes come back in as dramatic a fashion as could be fathomed in Ohio Stadium on Saturday evening. Finally, after Braxton Miller's unbelievable throw to Devin Smith, the crowd stopped yelling "OH MY GOD" at the top of their lungs, and then another all too familiar chant started to erupt: "Let's rush the field!"

From my experience, there is always that one obnoxious guy who yells out to rush the field, even if it's a win over a team like Indiana. My first thought after hearing the original chant on Saturday was: "Rushing the field is such a dumb idea. This is not that big of a win." 

However, I soon realized how wrong I was once the entire crowd collapsed onto the field itself. The fans, the team and the school, in general, needed that moment. A moment where you could basically hug, high five, and push thousands of random strangers out of sheer happiness. Especially after everything that has gone on this season.

I walked out of the 'Shoe that night understanding that OSU's win over Wisconsin was not the single greatest achievement this football team will accomplish, but to deny the impact that this game will have on Buckeye nation moving onward this season is impossible. 

THE LONG ROAD TO INDY. Ohio State's victory over Wisconsin has inspired hope for many that somehow the Buckeyes still have a chance to make it to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN has drawn out the only possible scenario for OSU to make it there.

Rittenberg writes that OSU must count on Penn State and Wisconsin getting into a three-way tiebreaker with them, with each team having two B1G loses. OSU also must beat Penn State at home on November 19 so that they can have this chance, as wins over both Wisconsin and the Nittany Lions would break the aforementioned tiebreaker and advance the Bucks to the title game.

As Rittenberg notes, the Bucks need to win out to prevent a three loss Big Ten season, as he can't imagine Penn State accumulating three conference losses in the final stretch of the season. Joe Paterno's squad currently sits atop the Leaders division with a perfect 5-0 record against B1G teams, but has OSU, Nebraska, and Wisconsin still left to play, three games I personally think they can easily lose.

Basically, the Buckeyes need to be near flawless in their final four contests, while the Nittany Lions and Badgers swoon from contention. It's impossible for the Buckeyes to get to the title game under any other circumstances and the team surely knows that.

Being an All-American is a regular Party in the U.S.A.

STILL MILLER TIME. Braxton Miller's sensational game-winning touchdown pass got him more than a few girls' phone numbers. On Monday, Miller was named the Big Ten Freshman of the week.

Of course Miller had the big game on the ground, with 19 carries for 99 yards, but he also showed the ability to be patient and not force bad throws, as Miller threw the ball 12 times for 89 yards. One of his completions, the 40-yard touchdown to Smith, accounted for nearly half of the passing game.

It's clear Miller is still far from ready to handle being a pass-first quarterback, but the fact that he understands his role and how he can help this offense is a huge reason he will be successful the rest of the year.....as long as he stays healthy.

Miller won this award for his heart-stopping throw, but it should be noted how much he has improved his ability to fit into this team's offense over the last two games with the return of senior Dan Herron and a newfound confidence in his play making capabilities.

HE GOT GAME. It's no shocker that Jared Sullinger was going to be voted to the All-American team, which he finally was on Monday. Sullinger was voted "a unanimous pick of the 65-member national media panel."

The 6-9 power forward, who helped lead OSU to a 24-0 record to start last year's season, is accompanied by fellow sophomores Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Terrence Jones of Kentucky, and, lone senior, Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin.

While Sullinger certainly has picked up some of the high individual awards for the preseason, hopefully his thoughts and energy are being devoted to helping OSU and his teammates win a championship, even if Mark Titus already did jinx it.

IT JUST GETS EASIER. Damarlo Belcher, arguably Indiana's best football player on their roster, has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules.

Before the season began, Belcher, a senior wide receiver, was viewed as a potential candidate for the Biletnikoff award, which is given to college football's top receiver. Additionally, Belcher was only two receptions and 523 yards away from setting a new all-time receiving record for the Hoosiers, which is currently held by James Hardy.

Regardless of whether Belcher was playing in this game, he would not have greatly improved Indiana's chances against the Buckeyes. Belcher was having a down year with only 25 receptions, 286 yards and a touchdown. On top of his previously stated disciplinary issues, he also has missed games due to a knee injury this season.

It hasn't been released as to why Belcher was dismissed, but seeing someone as talented as him fall so hard is certainly disappointing. Hopefully Belcher can learn from this experience and turn his career around, wherever that may be.

LOS LINKS. Field storming at its finest... Braxton Miller's glorious heave to Devin Smith... Big recruiting news for Arizona Wildcats basketball... WVU's divorce from the Big East gets uglier... Tony La Russa goes out on top... OSU to play UCF not UC in 2012.


Comments Show All Comments

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I am so freaking glad LaRussa is finally gone. Good riddance you whiny baby.



Chris Lauderback's picture

I can't stand him either. He always reminded me of the dudes we called "hoods" in high school that stood in front of the pizza shop during lunch. They smoked, wore skinny jeans like 25 years before they were popular with the hipsters and black leather jackets complemented by faded Iron Maiden t-shirts (no hatin' on IM) and ball caps worn way back on the top of their heads exposing their flowing long locks. They didn't even order any pizza. They just made the entrance impossible to get to with their anorexia and smoke clouds. Bastards.

doodah_man's picture

If you don't think they are spending some time with BM's skills, note the run for a first down where BM slid (although not artfully) rather than take a hit. I think the coaching staff figured the value of having BM not try to out juke everyone until he is actually tackled (ala Nebraska, yielded an ankle sprain and eventual meltdown of the team). He and the coaching staff are learning from their mistakes and doing a bit more to protect the QB. It's a good thing....

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Bucks's picture

Agreed that it seemed there were some changes on this front which I'm thankful for. I was certainly worried though in the beginning when Braxton did a 180 spin in the air after contact. Keep this kid healthy & injury free!

Hoody Wayes's picture

Regarding, glorious heave, a YouTuber noted, hilariously:

This kid is going to be something special. John Simon is a BEAST who eats QBs and shits out punters. I was there and I say there is NOTHING like a Saturday at the Shoe.

GO BUCKS! Fight for O-HI-O!

jschultzVII 1 day ago 15 

Mike413's picture

Hello All.

Sorry to hijack the post, but Brutus needs are votes.


BRUTUS IS 8th: Ohio State mascot Brutus is currently eighth overall in the Capital One Mascot Challenge – right at the cutoff to make the playoffs in four weeks. This week he has a tough matchup against Aubie from Auburn, currently third in the standings with only one loss this year.  Brutus needs to keep his winning streak alive to stay in playoff contention to become the mascot of the year.  Fans can vote at the Capital One Bowl website.


OK, let's go Vote!!!!



Joe Beale's picture

From what I can see, Brutus is actually going up against the Iowa State mascot "Cy", and Brutus is currently kicking his tail.  This win will help because Cy is currently in the coveted 8 spot while Brutus is 9th. They are actually tied, so this win will put Brutus into 8th.



Enzo's picture

I don't think PSU wins another game this season. Their 5-0 record is smoke and mirrors. The only good team they've played this year, 'Bama, crushed them in happy valley. The Bucks need to take care of business, and I think at this point the only game I fear is the finale with TSUN, because anything can happen in the Game. That being said, I think Wisky has the second best shot at making it to the BIGCG with only 2 losses. If the Bucks can continue to improve on offense, there's no reason they can't go undefeated. Either way it should be an interesting November.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

I agree about Penn St.  I think they are a paper tiger.  They got crushed, bad, at home by AL, needed a last minute drive to beat ILL (at home!) and played close games against the murders row of Temple, Iowa, Purdue and Indiana.  Indiana!!!  I expect them to lose the three games they have left.

I also feel Michigan is the product of an amazingly easy schedule and not actually a good team.  They have played 5 pasties who they beat, one mediocre team (ND) that they almost lost to and one decent club (MSU) that shut them down with ease.  I expect them to lose their last two games.

I am thinking it's us and Neb in the championship game which is crazy considering a few weeks ago I wasn't sure we would be bowl eligible.  The way they played on Saturday has me believing.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

NYC Buckeye's picture

I think we should be a little more worried about Penn St...  I agree they are def not the strongest team, however they have an above average defense, and they have two weeks to prepare for a Nebraska team, who cant really throw the ball, and is coming to Happy Valley...  

we shouldn't underestimate the bye week, as look what it enabled us to do this past weekend...

I think we will beat Penn State at home, but it might come down to us rooting for Wisconsin on the last day of the season...

btalbert25's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  They don't look like as much of a road block as Wisconsin did, but still their D is pretty good.  Sure the only great team they've played is Alabama, and they got a beat down, but it's not exactly like any team in the Big 10 is on part with Bama to this point. 

Their D is pretty good, and having a team that just runs will make the game tough.  Good thing is, their offense is inept.  All of the games left are winnable, all but perhaps Indiana can be lost as well.  Just hope this young team keeps improving and doesn't have any set backs.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

"Penn State has won games scoring 14 points (against Temple), 16 (against Indiana), 13 (against Iowa) and 10 (against Illinois). The Nittanies led for all of 2 minutes, 42 seconds against Temple, 27:18 against truly awful Indiana and 7:00 against Illinois. They are 109th nationally in pass efficiency, 101st in scoring and 88th in total offense." - Pat Forde

I believe that Penn State's defense is overrated, which isn't to say they have a bad one.  Just that their stats, having feasted on weak teams, look better than they really are.

The is in the Horseshoe, I wouldn't be surprised to see Penn State get skunked.  I will be stunned and crying if they manage to pull the upset.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The Buckeyes route to Indy is fairly straightforward: win out + PSU have one other loss. In addition to Ohio State, PSU plays Nebraska and at Wisky.

I'd gauge PSU's probability of wining both of those other two games at about 0.10 (or 10 percent). For all intents and purposes, then, the Buckeyes simply need to win out.  

BTwrestle04's picture

According to ESPN, here are the % chances to win out for Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State. (Based on FEI rating).

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0): Chances of winning out in conference play -- 1.9 percent. Projected conference wins -- 5.8.

Wisconsin Badgers (2-2): Chances of winning out in conference play -- 52.8 percent. Projected conference wins -- 5.4.

Ohio State Buckeyes (2-2): Chances of winning out in conference play -- 31.3 percent. Projected conference wins -- 5.1.


Penn State until this point in the season has played the 62nd toughest schedule in the nation. The rest of their schedule ranks in at the 3rd hardest.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ouch! 1.9 percent? I guess I was being overly generous to PSU.

I had PSU's chances of going 3-0 at about four percent, with a ten percent chance of beating both Wisky or Nebraska, assuming they lose to Ohio State. 

JLP36's picture

If Penn State can pull it off, then hats off to them.  I am not going to hold my breath.  I do expect them to play their butts off against the Buckeyes no matter what.  They always do (making it more fun to crush them).


Buckeyejason's picture

I'm hoping we could somehow get to the B1G Championship..I'm not going to hold my breath, but sure as hell hope. Losing back to back to Sparty and Wisky didn't do us any favors and put us in a little hole. Let's hope for that 2007 luck when we wound up in the National Championship game.


Run_Fido_Run's picture

As it turned out, from a divisional perspective, losing to Sparty and Nebraska did not really put Ohio State in much of hole, because Wisky lost to MSU.

Before the conference season started, we assumed that the Buckeyes would have beat Wisky and lose at most one other conference game. Wisky was supposed to be a juggernaut, so it was anticipated if the Buckeyes had lost to them, Wisky would not lose two other conference games. IMO, the Badgers still will not lose two other games, besides losing to Ohio State.

Therefore, the Buckeyes are (for all intents and purposes) still in the same position they always were: they always had to win the last four games. The difference is now they also need PSU to lose one other game, but the odds strongly favor that happening.  

Bucks's picture

I'm really not too terribly worried about winning out & PSU losing 2 out of their remainder (one being to us). Unfortunately, I am now worried that on the eve of the Michigan game the team will be informed we have a 1 year ban. That damn "repeat offender" portion that we can't avoid is what makes me worry it is coming.

Noone wants us to be in the inaugural game more than I, but I'm still going to be incredibly happy if we continue this past weekend through the regular season.

RBuck's picture

Any bad news for the Buckeyes from the NCAA seems to come out right before big games, both football and basketball. Nov. 25 would be the double whammy, right before the scUM and Duke games. Before you go to bed after Thanksgiving dinner make a blood sacrifice to the God(s) of your choice avoid to any gray boxes on Friday.

Long live the southend.

crazykg's picture

Why did 11W stop posting game highlights?

Buckeye in Athens's picture

I believe there was some sort of legal problem on the use of highlight clips.. 

crazykg's picture

I was wondering if that was the case. I just didnt remember reading about it.

William's picture

Lednerk is one of the few who still makes OSU highlights, I think Lexco has stopped.

btalbert25's picture

Certainly the hardest part of the B1G slate is over for this team which makes it completely with in reason that Ohio State win out.  If they continue to improve like they have the last few games, I see no reason why they can't win out.  I still wouldn't be shocked if the Bucks lose a game along the way, but if they continue to play like they did Saturday, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to win out. 

DallasTheologian's picture

I was under the impression that we don't have to worry about Wisconsin as they have the same number of losses as we do. We almost control our own destiny as we must win out (that is controlling our own destiny) and have one other Penn State loss (i.e. to the Huskers or Badgers).


So the quote about needing Wisconsin to swoon seems somewhat misleading.


Can someone help me out?

BucksfanXC's picture

We don't care what Wisky does, except beat PSU, which we want them to do.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

timdogdad's picture

i like our chances to make it all the way to the rose bowl and that's not homerism.  wins against ind and purdue shouldn't be a problem. psu-it's at home and not at happy valley due to the new big 10 schedule change.  i can't see mcmoxie beating us. plus posey is back and will back off the secondary which will help the run game.   scum, it's just like last year, they scored 7, what will we give up this year?   10,13 17 max? we have to score over 17 on them. unless they get some turnovers or a robinson chuck it up jump ball td.   and vs neb on a neutral field because psu will lose again.  seems favorable to me.     

Bucksfan's picture

Bummer about losing the UC game.

NW Buckeye's picture

The worst part about moving the UC game is that the UC contingent is going to say that we don't want them on our schedule.  From what I understand, the move was necessitated by UC's Big East jumble causing them to request an out for next season.  After OSU had negotiated with CF the Big East lost the TCU commitment and more schools.  UC may be scrambling to find another conference at this point.  But, the UC fans will say that we are dodging them.  LMAO........

Bucksfan's picture

They might, but it's pretty clear in the articles that it's due to conference realignment.  However, that game was originally supposed to be down at Paul Brown, but Ohio State paid them $1 million to move the game to Columbus.

3cent's picture

The only game that worries me is the mich game, and that game would be a moot point if the Buckeyes had beaten Nebraska.

gbm's picture

Perfect, back to the good ole days when The Game actually ment something and more often then not determined the confrence winner.

BoFuquel's picture


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Maestro's picture

Major props to Drew Basil, who be my eye had 2 solo tackles on kickoff coverage.  Impressive.  He didn't look like a kicker on those tackles either.  Well done!!!  Although it is a bit worrisome to see the kicker making tackles, but he looked pretty proficient.

vacuuming sucks

jenks's picture

Anyone else notice a cast on one of his wrists/arms/hands/?

Don't remember reading anything about it, and it's really not an issue as long as he's not throwing passes, but if he did hurt himself it speaks to the concern about him making these tackles. Nevertheless, I love it and its hard to tell a guy to lose the intensity.

Maestro's picture

Definitely appeared to be a cast.  Don't remember hearing about it either.  Will do some investigating.

vacuuming sucks